Braces are still often the go-to when it comes to orthodontic treatment. Most individuals are not even aware that there is an alternative that many might consider more aesthetically pleasing. This alternative is known as Invisalign. Until recently, most dental practitioners would not consider using Invisalign to treat dental issues in children. However, the reality is that the treatment is just as safe and effective when used in kids as it is when used in adults.
Invisalign and children
While Invisalign is an option for kids, parents and dentists must exercise caution when opting to follow this course of treatment. Ultimately, Invisalign requires responsibility and care – a lot more than what would be required in simply fitting braces to correct crowded teeth, crooked teeth, overbites, gaps, etc. This is because Invisalign retainers can be removed at any time, whereas braces remain permanently in place.
If a child removes the retainer out of curiosity or discomfort and forgets to put it back in, treatment can be compromised. In some instances, young kids can misplace their retainers, resulting in expensive replacements that the parents need to cover.
As such, it is best to evaluate whether or not Invisalign is an appropriate treatment measure from case to case. Some dentists will simply insist on only allowing Invisalign in teenagers and older adults, but this isn’t a fool-proof method. Some children will be more responsible than some teenagers, after all!
Benefits of Invisalign in children
Provided that the child’s oral issue is not severe and they are responsible enough to utilize their invisible retainer correctly, Invisalign can provide a number of benefits.
- For instance, due to its ‘invisible’ appearance, this type of retainer can help children hold onto their self-esteem and confidence. There is also evidence suggesting that invisible retainers provide kids who play sport with extra protection, similar to how a specialty mouth guard might function.
- Children who grind their teeth in their sleep will also often find relief when wearing their invisible retainer at night.
- Most kids also find that it is easier to keep their teeth clean and maintain oral hygiene when they are using an invisible retainer as opposed to when they have braces.
Braces vs. Invisalign
There is no clear-cut answer for which orthodontic treatment, namely braces vs. Invisalign, is better to use in children as both are equally effective when approached correctly. The best course of treatment will depend on a variety of other factors, such as the child’s dental health, lifestyle, personality, and goals. Dentists and orthodontists are encouraged to evaluate each child based on these specific criteria before providing them and their parents with a detailed recommendation.
If Invisalign is found to be a potentially good fit for the child in question, it is vital that they are taught how to properly use and care for their new invisible retainer to maximize the long-term results and to effectively solve the dental problem that is currently presenting.